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The Great Awakening and the Enlightenment

Essay by   •  October 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  289 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,784 Views

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The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening are two primary European movements that

drifted across the Atlantic into America between the 1730 s and the 1760 s. They caused many

changes in the lives of humans. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast The Great

Awakening and The Enlightment and also how it made a difference in people's everyday lives.

The Enlightenment emphasized the power of human reason to shape the world. Its

purpose was to reform society using reason and advance knowledge through science. It caused

many people to be less honorable towards god than they had ever seen before. They felt that they

could think, analyze, and do for themselves and not everything was done through god. This also

created the religion of Pietism, which appealed to the hearts, not the minds of the followers.

The Great Awakening was an updating religious rebirth in the 1740's, which attempts to

bring the importance of god together with what the people had learned through the

Enlightenment. Many people began to study the world in which they lived. In the early 18th

century, many Christians believed that the earth was the center of the universe and that god

interceded directly concerning human affairs. When science proved different, it changed the

views of many educated people. John Locke did not believe that all infants were born with god

given thoughts. He stated that the mind was gradually filled with information through the senses

and through experiences that you encounter. Benjamin Franklin was another Enlightenment

thinker in America. He was more influenced by Enlightenment literature than the bible.

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